Optical frequency reference based on Doppler free spectroscopy of molecular iodine. Developed in a Cooperation between the DLR institute of Space Systems, ZARM/University of Bremen, University of Applied Sciences Konstanz and the Humboldt University Berlin for future applications in space. Such a frequency reference is the basis of the proposed scientific space mission BOOST with the aim to test the theory of special relativity.
DLR (CC-BY 3.0).
Research scientists of the System Enabling Technology department working on the on-ground verification of the Laser Ranging Instrument of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) follow-on space mission which is scheduled to be launched in 2017.
Adjustment of the laser interferometer which is used as a part of a test equipment for high performance thermal characterization of highly stable materials at a temperature range from 150K to 350K.
Adjustment of an optical setup for laser frequency stabilization, that is used as a laser source for high resolution characterization of new materials for space applications.
The department of Systems Enabling Technologies (SET) investigates key technologies for current and future space missions in science and Earth observation and examines and evaluates missions on system and subsystem level.
One focus of the activities of the department is optical metrology. This specifically relates to special assembly-integration technologies required for future operation of the optical instruments in space. This includes, for example, the design, implementation and verification of highly stable optical clocks and laser sensors for measuring distance and angle variations between distant satellites. As part of the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) follow-on mission, due to be launched in 2017, the SET department is responsible for the Optical Ground Support Equipment (OGSE), which supports the integration of the laser ranging instrument and tests the performance in distance measurement.
In addition, the department also thermally characterises highly stable materials and carries out experiments and simulations to study specific thrusters with extremely low propulsion. Systems Engineering is used to evaluate future science missions, in particular with regard to feasibility and phase A studies. Focus here is placed on missions that test fundamental physics, such as the special or general theory of relativity.
The projects mentioned are carried out in close collaboration with the Centre of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity (ZARM) at the University of Bremen and Airbus Defence and Space (Friedrichshafen), and also in part with the University of Applied Sciences Konstanz (HTWG), Leibniz-University Hannover and Humboldt-University Berlin.